Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, left, renews an agreement with the Paris airport region for the rest of his term in 2016. Photo courtesy of the City of Atlanta.

Former Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, whose tenure from 2010-18 was marked by trips aimed at raising the city’s profile in the world, cited a global law firm’s “international footprint” in his decision to join its local litigation practice.  

Mr. Reed was sometimes criticized for his frequent travels, particularly a South Africa trip that watchdogs pegged as excessive, but he often said that the city could not become a global leader with its leader sitting at 55 Trinity Avenue (City Hall). He visited the World Economic Forum and took trade missions to Brazil, China, Ireland, France and South Africa. 

Now, he is joining Squire Patton Boggs, one of the largest law firms in the world, a hire the firm is calling a “landmark addition.”  

The Atlanta office, opened in 2018, joined the firm’s 47 offices in more than 20 countries. It has been populated mostly with hires away from Dentons, which is not bashful about its global standing, calling itself “the world’s largest law firm.” (Dentons’s entry into Atlanta came through its absorption of McKenna Long Aldridge).  

Mr. Reed said both the diversity at the top of the ranks and the global reach of Squire Patton Boggs were appealing as he was deciding where to hang his shingle. 

“I’ve known attorneys at Squire Patton Boggs for many years and have always been impressed by the caliber of its people and vast international footprint. When considering my return to private practice, it became clear that the firm offers a unique proposition to the market,” Mr. Reed said in a statement.  

Before serving as mayor, Mr. Reed served in Georgia State Senate from 2002-09 and before that, two terms in the Georgia House of Representatives. He also worked as an associate at Paul Hastings and became a partner at Holland and Knight. His bachelor’s and law degrees came from Howard University.  

The former mayor tried to stage a comeback in last year’s elections, coming in a narrow third behind Andre Dickens, who went on to win the race in a runoff.   

Mr. Reed left office after his second consecutive term under a cloud of suspicion, with some of his top officials accused of bribery in relation to city contracts; the first trial in the case started this week. Federal authorities looked into the former mayor, but he was not charged and has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing, stressing during the 2021 mayoral campaign that the investigation into his personal dealings had been closed.  

In a news release, Squire Patton Boggs noted that it would tap into Mr. Reed’s strong connections in the business community and public sector, with Atlanta Managing Partner Ann-Marie Notaro pointing out that the firm has been “purposeful” in building its capabilities in the Southeast U.S.  

The release cited another notable recent hire: former Dentons attorney Randy Evans, also in the litigation practice, who is coming off a term as ambassador to Luxembourg during the Trump administration. Politico last month surfaced a State Department inspector general report that criticized Mr. Evans’s management of the embassy, where “interpersonal conflicts negatively affected staff working relationships” and a reported 42 percent of staff left their postings early.  

As managing editor of Global Atlanta, Trevor has spent 15+ years reporting on Atlanta’s ties with the world. An avid traveler, he has undertaken trips to 30+ countries to uncover stories on the perils...